Activities of Secretary-General in Qatar, 15-17 December

18 December 2018

Activities of Secretary-General in Qatar, 15-17 December

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Doha, Qatar, from Katowice, Poland, on Saturday afternoon, 15 December.

That evening, he attended a dinner hosted by the Government of Qatar at which the design for Lusail Stadium, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup final, was unveiled.

On Sunday morning, 16 December, the Secretary-General met with the Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, followed by a meeting with Sheikha Moza at the Qatar Foundation.

He then spoke at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University, where he gave a lecture on the importance of multilateralism, stressing the central role of the United Nations.  He said that his recent travels ‑ to Marrakech, Morocco, where a United Nations‑backed migration compact was adopted; to Katowice in Poland for the adoption of an agreement at the United Nations climate change conference; and to Sweden for the talks on a truce in Yemen ‑ showed how the role of the United Nations is that of an honest broker.  (See Press Release SG/SM/19411.)

The Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, witnessed the signing of partnership agreements between Qatar and several United Nations agencies and programmes, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Speaking to the press with the Foreign Minister afterwards, the Secretary-General thanked Qatar for its generosity and hailed the new strategic partnership between Qatar and the United Nations.  In particular, he expressed his gratitude for Qatar’s support for UNRWA, saying its contribution will allow the United Nations to continue supporting Palestine refugees.

The Secretary-General visited the Qatar 2022 Legacy Pavilion, which showcases the country’s preparations ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, before meeting with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

He then gave the keynote address at the closing of the Doha Forum, where he underscored that international cooperation is crucial to solve the pressing challenges of today, including climate change and conflicts, as well as issues such as technology that will pose problems in the future.  (See Press Release SG/SM/19410.)

The Secretary-General returned to New York early on Monday morning, 17 December.

For information media. Not an official record.